2005 BMW 1 Series 118d ES 2.0 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


Slightly quirky, sporty hatch with amazing handling and great performance



General Comments:

I have only had this car for just over a month. It is my first brand new car, but not my first BMW. I have previously owned two 5 series diesels.

My 118d ES is the 'poverty' model (nobody buys the actual base model) with just alloy wheels and manual air conditioning to add to the base spec. In reality though, this is pretty much all you need, everything works well.

The interior layout is great and everything is well made. It doesn't have the luxury feeling of a 5-series, but certainly is miles better than the majority of the competition. Unlike another review there are absolutely no squeaks or rattles the car is solid. The car comes with a quite comprehensive diagnostics system - all levels (including tyres) are checked automatically. The keyless start is quite a novelty and individual settings can be stored in the key when there is more than one driver. The automatic door locking when you exceed about 15mph is a nice touch.

The handling is astonishing - it just hangs on without any fuss at all. The de-tuned 120bhp diesel in the 118d is actually quite fast. Not ridiculously so, but certainly fun to drive. I am getting around 46 miles per gallon, which is nice. You do know the engine is a diesel at idle though, but otherwise an extremely impressive drive. The run flat tyres make for a slightly harsh drive on rough roads.

For those who like their radio, avoid the basic model - it is only just adequate. The better professional model features sub-woofers under the seats and it makes quite a difference.

The car is clearly expensive when you add on the options which is easy to do. The basic one I have (in black so it matches the black plastic) is a great car, but just misses feeling special as it is quite spartan. We got a great deal on the warranty and servicing which swung it for us - it actually worked out cheaper than a used 118d, and I'm hoping the residuals will be good! The exterior styling is something you'll love or hate. The back seat leg-room is limited and the boot is not huge. The car is what it is - a sporty hatch for two people who don't visit Ikea that much!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th October, 2005

24th Oct 2005, 14:32

Glad you like the car, but the automatic locking when you go above 15 mph worries me. If you're in a high speed smash which knocks out the electrics how are you supposed to get out of the car? Kick the windows through?

26th Oct 2005, 00:39

With the latest cars these days, anything with central locking will unlock incase of an accident bad enough to trigger an airbag. In most places, people do drive with doors locked for security, more so if you are in a BMW! So no real difference whether or not you're in an accident. The electrics will only FACILITATE central locking of the car, mechanical override is always available.

2005 BMW 1 Series 116i 1.6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


If you enjoy driving, then this is a car for you


No problems as yet.

General Comments:

Had the car just over two months, and have had no problems with it or major complaints so far. Only complaint I have is that the engine can be slightly noisy, but I was told this is common for the 1.6 litre engine.

I test drove quite a few BMW's before choosing the 1 series, and I have to say that the handling is beyond any other car I've driven - you can take corners so fast and so hard in this car and feel like you have complete control. The car feels very solid on the road, and the ride is extremely smoothe, especially on open roads (100km/hr or higher).

Interior styling is nice and comfortable, stereo system has MP3 capabilities and a pretty nice speaker set. Interior does not feel cheap to me, except for the glovebox, which is basically just a flap with a piece of string. Personally the seats are quite comfortable, although passengers have complained about them being hard.

Steering feels heavy at lower speeds, but I enjoy that and find that other cars now feel too "light" when I'm driving. Steering wheel is nice and thick. Having a sunroof really opens up the interior in this car, since the windows are quite short and give the car a bit of a "closed" feeling. Rear leg room isn't amazing, but for short rides it's acceptable.

Exterior styling takes some getting used to, but now I find it to be an amazing looking car. For a 1.6, the power is pretty good, if not huge.. You definitely get more fun and grunt from a manual. The rear wheel drive makes a huge difference.

Push-button start/stop is a great novelty on this car (I never get tired of pressing the button). On board computer tells you everything you need to know, and warns you when a fluid level is low. Airbags all round. Overall solid feel, great performance and high-tech.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2005